Shutterfly eschews the 'perfect family' stereotype in its holiday campaign

First work by Argonaut is targeted at a more diverse audience

Published On
Nov 04, 2019

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Shutterfly aims to get a more diverse audience thinking about sending holiday cards and gifts in its first holiday campaign in three years.

The brand's first work by recently-appointed agency Argonaut is titled "Anything Flys" and highlights that beyond the stereotypical cards featuring "perfect" families posing in front of suburban homes in holiday sweaters, all kinds of other people might use its services.

Examples depicted in the spot include people for whom their pets are their family, as well as single parent families, single sex couple parents and people who don't want to say "happy holidays" at all. There's also the emo teen sending a card of herself and friends in black garb, and the gift that's more of a memorial. The spot is directed with a light and humorous touch by Stylewar via Smuggler.

"The campaign is having fun with the societal norms of what it means to send a holiday card or gift," CMO Mickey Mericle tells Ad Age.  "We want to invite everybody into that world and get away from the stereotypical image of this is the type of family that you have to have."

Of course, there are still those who will send that type of card, but the aim is to "increase the number of people who have a relationship with us as a brand," she adds. "Our customers look like America and there are all kinds of family types."

According to Mericle, the campaign also recognizes that in a world of constant sharing, people increasingly want something tangible that makes a "more meaningful connection." The company's own research shows that despite the rise of social media, people can feel like this type of sharing is "empty" and they appreciate a physical card or gift even more. 

"We believe in celebrating a relationship with something that people can touch and feel," she says. "You're already seeing this with millennials who are using the post office more and signing up for classes like calligraphy. We have been through a digital revolution, but now people are nostalgic for the tangible and we are penetrating more households than ever."